Galliford Try may not consider technology a strategic differentiator for any of its businesses, but under group CIO Mark Cotton the construction company is no digital faint-heart.

For example, following a successful implementation of a fully integrated tier-1 ERP system a few years back, Cotton spent significant time last year working with each of Galliford's three businesses to review the core processes and assess alternatives if appropriate. The result was that one of the businesses moved away from the core ERP to a smaller but highly aligned ERP that is increasingly standard issue in its sector.

What many might consider on the face of it to be madness (given the effort and investment needed to implement the tier-1 ERP) is exactly the right move for this business. The shift from generic ERP to a more focused ERP will drive a significant process transformation programme across the business, squeezing out more margin in a competitive market.

Cotton has also developed a plant machinery hire solution that has driven significant labour and cost efficiencies. He has deployed 3D visualisation headsets to put new operatives into virtual hazardous situations to drive home the need for continual personal safety awareness. The implementation of Office 365 products has brought about cross-country collaboration and information exchange (previously non-existent), and Cotton and his team have stabilised an aged storage and application server estate.